When it comes to safety, we recommend planning ahead - giving just as much attention to planning your physical and emotional safety as you do to planning your holiday dinner menu or travel logistics. Planning ahead means that you won't have to figure out in the heat of the moment (under stress) how you want to set that boundary or exit that situation.
Your time is a precious resource and you can set boundaries around how much time you will spend with people. Planning ahead even allows you to manage expectations in advance. You can tell your family "I am excited to see you for the holiday dinner, and I wanted to let you know that I need to leave by 8pm" or "you've probably noticed I am a lot cheerier when I have plenty of alone time to recharge - so thank you for supporting me in doing that". It is YOUR holiday too so plan ahead so that you can enjoy it!
Gift-giving traditions during the holidays can create emotional and financial pressure. But your friends and family probably don't want you to go into debt buying extravagant gifts. You can set boundaries in advance around gifts, and you can even make it fun by suggesting something like "let's see who can find the coolest gifts under $20" or "let's share our creativity by only exchanging handmade gifts".
If enjoyed this safety tip, check back here for more in the next few weeks. Also, please consider making a tax-deductible gift to support IMPACT Bay Area. It is our hope that every person who needs to feel safer, stronger, and more confident can take an IMPACT class, but that is only possible with the support of our generous donors. Your donations support our efforts to train instructors, buy equipment, pay staff, provide scholarships, and hold more classes so that we can make our community safer.